This month I will share some insights and benefits of Mentoring, a very important element of people development and grow. It also fosters a key element of Emotional Intelligence, increasing your social skills building relationships and communicating with others.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is how well a person understands and manages/ navigate their emotions and the emotions of others and how they use this knowledge to manage relationships. High EQ provides better career and psychological support, understanding a persons behaviours and will finally lead to grow and development.
- How aware is a person of their strengths and limitations?
- How can a person understand the emotions of others?
- Does this person excel at developing relationships?
- How self-motivated and adaptable is this person?
- How does this person react to pressure?
The quickest way to get clarity is to talk to someone!
Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger, but have a certain area of expertise. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn.
History of Mentoring
Did you know that, The origins of the concept of mentorship, or the professional training by a more experienced person, as well as the name ‚mentor‘ comes from Homer’s classic poem, The Odyssey?
Homer’s poem was written about 800 BCE and describes a time around 1200 BCE when the character Odysseus, king of Ithaca, was preparing to leave for Troy. During his preparations, he wanted to ensure there was someone who could look after his son, Telemachus, in his absence. He appointed someone to act in his place as a teacher, advisor, and friend. This guardian’s name was Mentor.
Many people already have a mentorship in place but are not aware of it.
Informal Mentoring vs Formal Mentoring
There are usually two types of mentoring. Informal mentoring occurs through friendship, collegiality, teaching, coaching, and counselling. In contrast, formal mentoring occurs through structured programs in which mentors and participants are selected and matched through formal processes, many companies have programs in place to find the right match. You don’t need to have a formal mentor/mentee relationship to benefit from someone else’s experience.
Mentors can appear along your personal or professional path in all kinds of different ways.
We often tent to `over process´ those tools. I believe the most important step to grow is to ask for advise and speak to somebody, sharing your thoughts and ideas and ask for feedback.
Whom do you ask for advise in your life?
I personally believe I am good with setting a goal and work toward on my own, using my knowledge and do research on the web. But sometimes I get stuck and need a different opinion and perspective, this is how we learn and develop. The worldwide pandemic makes it more difficult to connect with people, we are living more in silos. Conversations are not taking place easily, we need to go for it. I am using zoom meetings to connect, now is the time to use technology for its best.
Benefits what’s in for both, Mentee and Mentor?
Mentoring someone can offer a meaningful experience through building a relationship of trust and understanding. Helping someone to grow and succeed can be an extremely gratifying way to spend your time and knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life can leave you with a real sense of accomplishment.
For mentees, some key benefits include: Exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking. Advice on developing strengths and overcoming weaknesses. Guidance on professional development and advancement. Increased visibility and recognition. The opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge. Working actively toward a vision.
How to find a Mentor?
A Mentorship can be a ONEtimer getting expertise on a specific topic or a LONGterm relationship to pursue a goal. In this case you should give it more power and structure.
The very first thing to do is define and identify your reasons why you want a mentor in the first place. In order to unlock the wisdom of a mentor and choosing the right, you can ask yourself:
- What is my goal/ vision?
- What do I need right now?
- What is holding me back?
- What (specifically) would help me to move forward to be more productive and effective?
- Am I looking to get a promotion or require career guidance?
- Do I want to build up a great skill stack but aren’t sure which skills to invest in?
- Do I need trusted advice on next steps or planning to make a career change altogether?
Where to find a Mentor?
- look outside your function or department
- who could offer new perspectives
- who possess skills or competencies you lack or want to polish
- with reputations as continuous learners
- look via social media tools, increase your Network like LinkedIn
Make use of both online and offline or formal and informal networking opportunities. Attend networking events or webinars. Invite a colleague you admire for lunch or strike a conversation at a coffee station. Keep in mind that with mentoring, it doesn’t always have to be about big life questions. It can perhaps be a co-worker’s presentations that you have always admired. Ask them how they did it. Maybe the new colleague has this incredible way of leading a meeting. Ask them how they do it. You might find a mentor in more than just one person which is even more powerful than having only one mentoring relationship.
Fazit: Using Mentoring opportunities can help you grow your career, your skills and your relationships in your life (personal and professional). Additionally you increase your EQ skills, a key competence for dealing with people, maintain the drive and motivation in order to make optimal decisions.
How has mentoring helped you?
Interesting pairs of famous Mentors – Mentees in history
If you take a closer look at some of the most successful people throughout history, I bet you would find that the majority had a mentor or two along the way that made a positive impact on their lives.
And while the following mentoring relationships are fictional, Hollywood can’t help but demonstrate how a strong mentor can positively shape a person: